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There’s more to lager than American-hopped pilsner


Local Lagers Looming.
Brewers Association economist Bart Watson provides some very real numbers: “Although amber and pale lagers didn’t stand out in scans, pilsners announced themselves in the first month of 2015 with 56% growth versus a year ago.” And he has more reasons to predict a “new era of local lager.” But we need lagers beyond those brewed with pale malt and hopped to appeal to IPA drinkers. [Via Brewers Association]

How to make an ad as effective as Budweiser’s.
I continue to update the links (pro and con) related to Budweiser’s Super Bowl commercial (now in regular rotation elsewhere), but it seems more appropriate to post this one here. Dan Fox writes that the commercial “nails four keys to creating solid, effective beer-selling messages.” Number 4 is that it communicates Bud’s uniqueness. That got me thinking about the chart Watson showed at the American Hop convention. In 1970, Bud and beers like it accounted for 99% of sales in the U.S. Today, “various domestic” beers have a 24% share and it is still shrinking. Beers brewed by members of the Brewers Association members have stolen 11% of share, but light beers have taken 52%. Of course AB InBev has benefited, because it has the No. 1 selling light beer. Nonetheless, this makes the advertising conversations tricky, doesn’t it? [Via Hey Beer Dan]

That’s the dollar value of total sales of IPA in the United States in 2014. [Via CNBC]

New Belgium Brewing18 Things I Learned at New Belgium’s “Sour Symposium.” Excellent and interesting. Just one of the many I like: “The first batch of La Folie, Lauren [Salazar] says, was so sour it could rip the enamel from your teeth. Now, she says, she’s more mature and attempts to formulate the brewery’s sours with more balance. ‘I try other breweries’ sours and I go, ‘Oh, I remember when I was like that!'” [Via Phoenix New Times]

Could a Colorado craft brewery sell out to big beer? The headline takes a point of view, don’t you think? Because there is a difference between selling and selling out. [Via The Denver Post]

Trip to Tumalo ~ hop growers in Central Oregon.
Another example of farmers figuring out a way to grow and process hops on a small scale. [Via The Brewstorian]

FOMO Infiltrates Beer Culture.
I would suggest pairing Heather Vandenengel’s post this past week with this post from Jeff Rice I linked to a couple of weeks ago. Followed by these tips for “crushing the fear of missing out” and perhaps Tyler Cowen’s thoughts about “The Upside of Waiting in Line.” [Via All About Beer]

Detroit Metro Times goes full tabloid with smear piece on Arbor Brewing Co. owners Matt & Rene Greff.
Arbor Brewing Co. presents a case study in local business ethics and crowdfunding.
The defense is presented first simply because that was the story I found first. Read ’em both and read the comments. I’m not sure where the truth lies, but plenty of reality on display. [Via Eclectablog & Metro Times]

How Dogfish Head strives for quality through science. Sam Calagione’s interview with Men’s Journal about the commercial got lots of attention last week, but this story tells you, and shows you, something new. [Via delmarvanow]

2 Responses to There’s more to lager than American-hopped pilsner

  1. Thomas Cizauskas February 24, 2015 at 7:02 am #

    IN ’18 Things I Learned at New Belgium’s “Sour Symposium”,’ Zachary Fowle wrote that Eric Salazar, New Belgium’s cellar master, and Lauren Salazar, the brewery’s sensory specialist and beer-blender, said: “nobody at New Belgium knew to be afraid of wild yeast. It would be years before brewers discovered that these kinds of bacteria could infest an entire brewery and ruin many batches of beer; before then, brewers were adding yeast strains willy nilly, with no thought to consequences.”

    I find it almost inconceivable that a brewer as renowned and proficient, and familiar with the controlled souring of beer, as Peter Bouckaert, “who came to New Belgium (the brewery) via Belgium (the country) and used to work for Brouwerij Rodenbach, a venerated brewer of Flemish-style sours,” would or could NOT know of the dangers of wild yeasts and how to handle them.

    • Stan Hieronymus February 24, 2015 at 7:19 am #

      A good point, particularly since I certainly saw caution when I visited in 2000. At that time when all the souring beer was still in wine barrels and kept well away from any other beer.

      (That’s when I took the photo of one of the first foeders being swelled, with the 2000 HL tanks holding Fat Tire in the background.)

      After pulling down the big door that held the barrels in seclusion Peter pointed out with considerable pride that they had as many people in the lab as they had in marketing (within the building – they already had plenty of “beer rangers” in the field). That made him more comfortable introducing potential trouble. For instance, when kegs would be returned to the brewery he’d sometimes have the dregs collected and introduced into a barrel.

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